AFL Round 7 – Port Adelaide v Richmond: There are two teams out there

1.15pm (Adelaide time), Saturday, 11 May
AAMI Stadium

By Cheryl Critchley

We all know there are plenty of reasons to doubt Richmond. No finals action for 12 years. Not enough ticker. Auskick-level skills. Losing to Gold Coast. Twice. You know the drill.

But we deserve credit where it’s due. Throughout the Tigers’ solid win over Port Power in Adelaide, however, despite delivering a top rating performance we got less kudos than that train wreck of a TV show Celebrity Splash.

Anyone listening to Channel 7’s commentary for the Round 7 Port v Richmond game would have thought the Power won by 10 goals. Only problem was, Richmond triumphed in an upset by 41 points and was up more than 35 for most of the game.

After the young Tigers racked up a quarter time lead of 37, thanks partly to three goals by Jack Riewoldt (who finished with five), Port never looked like it. Yet Basil Zempilis, Hamish McLachlan and Tom Harley could not praise the Power enough, even after they had been well and truly switched off.

The implication throughout was that Port would turn it on at some point and come back like they had recently against West Coast. In that memorable win Port clawed its way back from a 41 point deficit mid-way through the third quarter to win by 5.

That was an amazing victory, but it was never gonna happen in a game where they couldn’t string more than a couple of consecutive goals together.

Yet Zempilis and co. were relentless, even talking Port up when they entered the last quarter 50 points behind – yes 50 points. To win, the Power would have had to top the biggest three quarter time comeback of all time when the Brisbane Bears won after being 45 points behind Hawthorn at the final break in 1995.

Even paranoid Tiger fans who can’t relax until we’re 10 goals up at the 29 minute mark of the last quarter knew we had it in the bag at that point. Of course we hadn’t completely breathed out, but deep down we knew Port had as much chance of winning as grass roots fans have of getting a Grand Final ticket.

Then there were the gratuitous cross-promotional shots of Power President David Koch, who just happens to host a show on the same channel. Even after Port was getting smashed they continued to cross to “Kochie”.

Where were the shots of Richmond president Gary March, whose team was putting in a great all-round effort without captain Cotch in a game it was expected to lose? Even Essendon fan Rohan Connolly tweeted: “So Seven would be doing interview with a chairman while play was going on if it was Gary March & not David Koch? #yeahright #aflpowertigers.”

At half time boundary rider Mark McVeigh told us that Chris Smith had a serious knee injury. Didn’t he mean Chris Knights? And in another strange twist, Hamish McLachlan kept calling Jake King, known to all and sundry as “Push Up” or “Kingy”: “Jakey”. Where did that come from?

Then he started calling us the “Tiggies”. What the? These guys were as familiar with Richmond as Andrew Demetriou is with the outer. By the end of the game we were half (OK fully) expecting them to cross to Kochie in a Sunrise cap for his take on the loss.

Others on twitter agreed:

Capital Tigers: Breathing space???? FFS….. 37 point margin. Stop talking up port commentators. #gotiges #aflpowertigers

Paul White: Breathing space, at 37 points up? Hamish you’re an assclown! #aflpowertigers

Luke: Basil: tiges by 50 and theirs to lose. #shuthimup #AFLPowerTigers

Walley: Congratulations to Basil Zempilas on replacing Brian Taylor as footy’s worst commentator. #AFLPowerTigers #GetOff #stopbarracking

Despite a solid, character building win, most Richmond fans probably turned the telly off none the wiser that Brett Deledio and Dustin Martin had both blitzed with 30+ possessions, that Orren Stephenson had had a fantastic debut with his new club or that Richmond had 50+ more disposals than Port (371 to 318).

Nor would they have realised that Martin, Ellis and Rance all took 13 marks, Vlastuin 11, and Newman and Deledio ten each. But we all knew how great Port Adelaide was at coming from behind and were fully up to speed with Kochie’s thoughts on being 40 points in arrears.

On the plus side, Richmond won and Port didn’t. That’s all that matters. Great win Tigers! 

PORT ADELAIDE      2.1   4.5    6.10   10.13   (73)
RICHMOND                8.2   11.5  15.6  18.6    (114)

Port Adelaide:
Schulz 3, Mitchell 2, Gray 1, Monfries 1, Moore 1, Wingard 1, Broadbent 1
Richmond: Riewoldt 5, King 3, Grigg 2, Newman 2, Tuck 1, Nahas 1, Vlaustin 1, Knights 1, Martin 1, McGuane 1,

Port Adelaide:
Boak, Schulz, Wingard, Mitchell, Carlile, Redden
Richmond: Deledio, Martin, Riewoldt, Stephenson, Ellis, Newman, Vlastuin

UMPIRES: Farmer, Findlay, Pannell    CROWD: 25,372



FREMANTLE        2.0    7.5   10.8    12.9   (81)
RICHMOND          5.2    7.3    9.5      12.8   (80)

OUR VOTES Deledio (Rich) 3, Martin (Rich) 2, Riewoldt (Rich), 1.



  1. Watch it at the pub – no commentary. ;)

  2. Glad you mentioned this CC. I watched the end of the game on 7 and thought it was flat because I knew the result, but did wonder at thepump ups and the shocking Aust Open like cross promotion, Kochie being interviewed by Port old boys, 7 colleagues and AFL mates, whilst we flog them away from home. Very little credit being dished out. I love the fact that Kochie (who I think has been very good for their club mind) can pre empt the post game pressa by quoting the low average age of the playing group as an excuse, all this from a side undefeated up until recently.

    So yes, can understand it from radio commentary where you get the local guys but thought 7 was a national broadcaster

    Good win all the same though, hope the Dees don’t take the opportunity to finally show some teeth next week, or that we get complacenet


  3. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Sean. Yeah it happens all the time on the radio when they take local broadcasts, but that is a bit more understandable if they are all local crews. Next week is a real no-win situation. Of course we want to win but no-one wants to see more pain for Melbourne.

  4. You forgot the CONSTANT mention of 40,00 members…well where were they Hamish/Koch? They certainly weren’t at the game.

  5. Simon Willcox says

    Kochie has turned out to be a real winner for Port even when they lose
    Agree with everything you have said except Brian Taylor being second worst commentator. He has to be the worst and the most biased surely.

  6. Agree completely Cheryl. The standard of commentary at this game made BT sound Shakespearian by comparison. It was drivel from beginning to end – an insult to the many thousands of Tiger fans watching. Disrespect to a great club and its players (and I’m a Cats fan).

    I know we have the option of turning the volume down or off but surely we deserve better than tripe like this.

    Hope to see the Tigers in September. Not so sure about Kochie’s mob though.

  7. Stainless says

    Gee Cheryl – it sounds like it was yet another reason why going to the game was a good idea!

    The only defence I could give the commentators in talking up Port was their recent come-from-behind wins. I guess they were hoping another comeback was on the cards. I’m a nervous Richmond supporter I admit but I certainly thought Port was in the game until late in the third quarter.

    Don’t get me started on celebrity Club Presidents!

  8. I feel your pain. As a Port supporter we have constantly had it the other way. Early this century when we were spanking teams, the commentators harped on about the opposition, got our player’s names incorrect, down-played or ignored Port’s efforts and results. I didn’t like it then, I don’t like it now and I don’t wish this on others. (I was at the game Saturday, the recorded game will be deleted from my hard drive some time this evening without being viewed.)

  9. Jill Scanlon says

    Totally agree Cheryl – and I’m unbiased (Blues supporter) when it comes to Port & Richmond (although I do have a soft spot for the Tiges!)

    Due to ABC Grandstand commitments being elsewhere, I too had to endure the Seven commentary team waffle and their not-so-subliminal preference towards Port’s progress.

    It was very annoying to say the least – but then pretty much par for the course.

  10. Cheryl Critchley says

    Port was definitely in the game until mid-way through the third quarter but still they kept talking them up. Even when they were 50 points down at three quarter time! If that was Richmond they’d have been calling for Hardwick’s head!

  11. Cheryl,
    You make some excellent points.
    The standard of commentary across the two broadcast networks is extremely poor, with the woeful Saturday night team (Taylor, Darcy & Richardson) taking the wooden spoon.
    Although it was not as bad, Eddie & co were obviously barracking for the Bulldogs against North. I understand cheering for the underdog, but commentators should be balanced and call it as it is…with the exception of K Rock, of course.
    I do not know where Basil Z came from, but they can send him back!
    And, to change tack slightly: for all those wishing that Andrew Demetriou would shuffle off, just remember who the annoited one is.

  12. Stephen Cooke says

    I would still take Basil, Harley and (yes) Hamish McLachlan over BT, Richo and Luke Darcy. I thought it watching the game, and having watched the first half of tonight’s game, I can write it here with absolute confidence.
    BT: Wowee, Carlton Football Club. Malthouse is Excellent.
    Darcy: Elite performance by an elite player. Elite.
    Richo: What’s happened there is one player took a mark against another player and then kicked a goal.

  13. Cheryl Critchley says

    Ha Cookie! I can feel my IQ dropping as the game goes on… :-).

  14. Happy to have a us versus them mentality Chezza- as long as we keep winning we keep grinning!

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